The Biocomplexity Institute of Virginia Tech incorporates initiatives that provide learning opportunities for students of all ages in areas such as bioinformatics, computational biology, and mathematical modeling. We recognize that the scientists and researchers of tomorrow are the students currently enrolled in elementary, middle, and high schools.

K-12 Programs

Kids’ Tech University

Kids’ Tech University (KTU) is a program for children, ages 9-12, and their parents with the primary purpose of creating the future workforce in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics STEM). Kids and parents participate in interactive sessions with scientists, perform hands-on activities on Virginia Tech's campus, and use online materials to build on their new knowledge. 

To register and get more information, visit our KTU homepage.

Class Tours

We welcome class groups to tour of the Biocomplexity Institute of Virginia Tech and/or participate in a hands-on activity centered around DNA. 

To book your tour, please contact Dr. Kristy Collins.

Virus Tracker in a Box

Virus Tracker was developed for use in middle and high school classrooms. In the Virus Tracker game, players become part of a virtual virus-spreading exercise in which the bar-coded wristbands they are given represent their infection with a particular virus. Each free game kit includes the software (teacher must have access to the internet during the game), scanners, barcodes, instruction manual, and suggested curriculum materials. 

To reserve your game today, visit the Virus Tracker in a Box homepage.

High-Performance Computing Course

This two-week, intensive course is directed towards high school students interested in further developing their expertise in biology relevant to the high-performance and data-intensive computing field. Supported by an NSF-funded award, No. OCI-1124123, this program is targeted toward students attending one of Virginia's An Achievable Dream Academies.

For more information on this program, please contact Dr. Kristy Collins.

Undergraduate Programs

undergraduate and graduate research assistants

Data Science for the Public Good

The Data Science for the Public Good (DSPG) program is designed to equip new generations of scientists with the skills they need to inform intelligent governmental policy and decision-making. DSPG focuses on the interface of data analytics and social science to address real problems at the local, state, and federal levels.

To learn more or apply for a position, please visit our program homepage.

Metagenomics: Environmental Genomics and Informatics Program

Metagenomics is an increasingly important tool for understanding connections between human health and our environment. Advancing our commitment to provide hands-on training to Virginia Tech undergraduates, the Biocomplexity Institute's Genomics Sequencing Center (GSC) is now offering a unique summer program designed to help undergraduate students get their start in this critical scientific field.

To learn more or apply for a position, please visit our program homepage.

Biocomplexity Research Experience for Undergraduates

Want to expand your expertise and experience what it's like to work in one of our labs? The Biocomplexity Research Experience for Undergraduates (BREU) is an educational program open to aspiring scientists from all academic backgrounds. BREU prepares students to pursue highly competitive STEM careers, offering hands-on training that extends far beyond the traditional classroom learning experience. This program encompasses a wide range of research opportunities including both paid and for-credit positions.

To learn more about BREU or apply for a position, please visit our program homepage.

Bridges to the Baccalaureate

The Bridges to the Baccalaureate Program is designed to work with students from the Virginia Community College System (VCCS) to increase the number of transfer students pursuing degrees and research career paths in the biomedical and behavioral sciences. 

For more information on this program, please contact Dr. Kristy Collins.

Graduate Programs

Genomics, Bioinformatics & Computational Biology Graduate Program

The research paradigm exemplified by the Human Genome Project requires a new academic training platform, one that creates team-oriented researchers who may be specialists in one area but who are literate in several other disciplines. For example, researchers with expertise in the mathematical, statistical, or computer sciences also require sufficient knowledge in biology in order to develop appropriate analytical methods and computer tools.

Virginia Tech’s interdisciplinary Genomics, Bioinformatics & Computational Biology Graduate Program program spans traditional departmental boundaries and allows students to study with faculty from many departments and colleges. Tailored individually to students' needs, it is not uncommon that a student advising committee could consist of faculty from several colleges across the university.

For more information please contact Dennie Munson, GBCB Program Liaison, at (540) 231-1968 or

Courses & Workshops

class session for high-performance computing

Biotechnology Educators Conference

In 2015, the Fralin Life Science Institute and Biocomplexity Institute of Virginia Tech collaborated to offer a new program for high school and community college educators: the Biotechnology Educators Conference. This conference provided science educators with opportunities to explore technical and content updates for their curriculum including new applications in medicine, infectious disease, and agriculture.

For more information on scheduling and registration, visit the Biotechnology Educators Conference homepage.

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